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What is the best way for a new non-profit to generate revenue?

Pioneers Youth Leadership is a new non-profit dedicated to developing today's student leaders and tomorrow's community leaders. We offer a year-long leadership program to students in rural counties in the State of Texas. We began in Real County, Texas with a group of 24 students this year from each school in the county. In May those 24 students will graduate from the program as Pioneers Alumni.

In the program the students participated in a Leadership Camp, College & Financial Aid Advising Seminar, Texas Leadership Forum in Austin, and a Career and Professional Development program. The students also developed a Community Project and began a mentoring program in their schools.

Due to the program's success, additional rural counties in the State are interested in having the program for their students. Therefore, Pioneers Youth Leadership, Inc was started.

We are developing today's student leaders and tomorrow's community leaders by inspiring students in our communities to develop as leaders and make an impact on their community. Through this journey they will not only make an impact in their home community, but in each community that they live in or travel to. We believe that investing in the youth of this generation will make the changes we need for the future.

So far in our endeavors, fundraising has been the most challenging hurdle. We would be grateful for any input that might get us going in the right direction for fundraising.

For more information about our organization please visit - http://pioneersyouthleadership.org/

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    Apr 23 2013: Provide a product or service having both an intrinsic value and appeal to your target public segment for a reasonable price.
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      Apr 23 2013: Edward,

      Great contribution and we completely agree. We are in the process of developing a product in which we hope to launch as a kickstarter in the next month.
  • Apr 23 2013: I think the way academic institutions cultivate co-op and internship programs for their students might be a good model. Future leaders in corporations have to come from somewhere. If your organization can help solve community problems while developing leaders, local corporations should be interested in partnering with your effort. Setting up win-win opportunities for students and businesses is the trick. Leadership is born from experience, mentorship and accomplishment. Being part of a winning team in sports or any endeavor is a seductive motivator. Arranging opportunities with a clear cut success mark that is within the capability of the team is enough work, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and planning are provided can be a real trick. Adult issues like safety, insurance, finances, and risk need to be managed at a level where the wost cases are boxed out. One example of this type of project I can think off is an Eagle Scout project. Perhaps some of your local adult leaders or members that might be eagle Scouts can assist with some ideas.
  • Apr 23 2013: You might set up leadership opportunities for members to gain experience in leadership positions, partner with other organizations with similar goals, and align with businesses that might have community outreach leadership opportunities that need an organized supply of people interested in working as volunteers in positions that enable leadership growth.
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      Apr 23 2013: Robert,

      You are absolutely right, we are in the process of cultivating some local relationships with organizations and like minded projects. Can you think of any non-profits that have had success in doing just that? We like to try and learn as much as we can from those who have been successful in the past.
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    Apr 23 2013: Lobby to get the government to subsidize you
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      Apr 23 2013: Pat,

      Thank you for the comment, I'm not familiar with how we would lobby to get the government to subsidize us but I'll certainly look into it.
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    Apr 23 2013: Have you done an internet search about fundraising for nonprofits? There are likely books on the subject as well. For example there is a site that came up for me on the first page of my search results with a free management library with extensive material on this subject, free at your finger tips.
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      Apr 23 2013: Fritzie,

      As simple as your idea is we have not yet done that. I suppose we have been so overwhelmed with getting the program set up we haven't invested in some of our basic tools like google. Thank you for the contribution, we knew TED would be a great place for intelligent answers.